Classic Hits & Oldies

Toto’s David Paich pays tribute to Seals and Crofts’ Jim Seals: “a consummate musician … teacher, tutor, guru”

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Jim Seals in 1973; Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Toto founder David Paich is among the artists mourning the passing of Seals and CroftsJim Seals, who, according to The New York Times, died Monday at his home in Nashville at age 79 from an unspecified “ongoing chronic illness.”

Prior to the formation of Toto, Paich played keyboards on four Seals and Crofts albums during the mid-1970s and also worked on the string arrangements of some of the duo’s recordings.

“I can’t say enough about [Seals],” Paich tells ABC Audio. “What a consummate musician and teacher, tutor, guru — everything. And he was such a sweetheart [of a] guy. Nicest guy in the world.”

David adds, “[I] definitely would use the word genius when it comes to Jimmy Seals, ’cause he could just sit and play these songs, and they were just fantastic to hear him play. And then to get to perform with him was just a treat and an honor.”

Paich also reveals that the first hit record he played on after graduating from high school was Seals and Crofts’ “Diamond Girl,” noting that he went on to play on several of the duo’s albums, along with future Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro and, on some tracks, original Toto bassist David Hungate.

Paich tells ABC Audio that while collaborating with the duo, he learned a lot of studio techniques that he still uses today, such as “layering vocals and how to deal with a lot of information on tracks.”

In addition, David notes that he, Porcaro and Hungate all played in the Seals and Crofts touring band.

“It warms my heart and puts a smile on my face to talk about Jimmy Seals,” Paich says. “You know, it was nothing but an endearing, informative learning process with him, and … I’ll never forget him as long as I live.”

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